Ecuador is the smallest of the Andean nations. For all its diminutive size, however, the country is packed with startling contrasts of scenery, from steaming tropical rainforests and windswept highlands to ice-capped volcanoes and palm-fringed beaches. On this 9-day tour, explore the World Heritage cities of Quito and Cuenca, see the jaw dropping scenery of Cotopaxi and much more.
|Tour Duration||:||09 days|
|Min. Tour Size||:||04 persons|
|Max. Tour Size||:||16 persons|
|Includes international air|
|Tour Price (from)||:||US$|
* Please contact us for other programs of Ecuador or extension to the Galapagos Islands.B=Breakfast, BL=Box Lunch, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Day 01: Arrive Quito
This afternoon, arrive at Quito airport, where we will be met and transferred to the hotel.
Day 02: Quito
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Quito* (approx. 5 hours), which leads us through the historical centre. Our tour walks us through the culturally diverse history of this city. Take in Independence Square with the Government Palace and the Cathedral. On the way to San Francisco Square, visit the Church of La Compañia, which has the most ornate and richly sculptured façade and interior. Afterwards, we visit the famous hill of the old town, Panecillo (“Little Bread”) where we see the angel statue “Virgen de Quito”. Then proceed to the Equatorial Line Monument called “Middle of the World”, where we get the truly rare experience of standing in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres simultaneously. The Equatorial Monument marks the spot where an 18th century French scientific expedition established the exact position of the Equator. The area has been built as a typical colonial town, with restaurants, gift shops and a Post Office. Visit the monument and the Ethnographical Museum, which shows the history of the indigenous cultures of Ecuador, before returning to our hotel. (B)
Day 03: Quito
Day free to explore the city further. Or, take an optional tour to visit the indigenous handcrafts market in Otavalo.
Day 04: Quito/Cotopaxi (Drive)
After breakfast, drive to Cotopaxi National Park. The highland zone, protected since 1975, belongs to one of the most beautiful ecological reserves in the country. On a walk near the shallow lake „Laguna de Limpiopungo”, at an altitude of almost 4,000 meters, we will have the chance to learn about the typical vegetation of the “Páramo” and will gaze in wonder at the beautiful view of Cotopaxi (5897m) in the background. The perfect place to snap a jaw dropping photograph! Today we will also visit a beautiful flower plantation where the friendly staff will explain about their work. The plantation showcases a great variety of flowers.
Overnight: Hacienda La Cienega, Cotopaxi (1 night) (B)
Day 05: Cotopaxi/Riobamba (Drive)
After breakfast, visit a colourful indigenous market. We then continue to Quilotoa, the famous volcanic lake with beautiful views. In the late afternoon, we journey on to Riobamba, the capital of the province of Chimborazo, where a great number of indigenous communities live. Close to Chimborazo, the highest mountain of Ecuador, we will spend the night in one of the atmospheric Hosterías this region offers.
Overnight: Hacienda Abraspungo, Riobamba (1 night) (B)
Day 06: Riobamba/Cuenca (Drive)
After an early breakfast, we are taken to the train-station in Alausí to board the train for the famous Devil’s Nose ride. Enjoy the fascinating landscape of the Andes. This is undoubtedly a very special way to experience the country! Lunchbox is included.
Note: Due to weather conditions or technical problems of the train, train ride is subject to reconfirmation.
We will then start the drive to the city of Cuenca* (approx. 2 hours). On our way, we will stop at the Inca ruin site of Ingapirca, the most important monument of pre-Spanish culture in Ecuador. The ruins are located on a grass-covered hill at an altitude of about 3,100 meters. On a walk through the former place where the Incas lived and held their ceremonies, we will learn about their beliefs and rituals, as well as about the way they constructed this ordination place in the shape of a puma. After arriving in Cuenca, check in at our hotel.
Overnight: Hotel San Juan/Hotel Mansion Alcazar, Cuenca (2 nights) (B, BL)
Day 07: Cuenca
After breakfast, visit the sights of Cuenca, the third largest city of Ecuador. In Cuenca, founded in 1557 on an Inca settlement valley, we still breathe the colonial air of Ecuadorian history. For most Ecuadorian inhabitants – and also for travellers – this centre of art, ceramics, silver and gold is the most beautiful city in Ecuador. Due to the special atmosphere and early 19th century architecture, Cuenca was declared “Cultural Patrimony of Mankind” in November 1999. During the city tour, we will see the historical buildings, located along the Tomebamba River, the “Todos los Santos” ruins, the flower market and the main square with the old and new Cathedral. We will also have the chance to experience a Panama hat factory. The afternoon will be at leisure. We may walk around the narrow cobble stoned streets with the whitewashed houses and noble façades to explore the beauty of this town on our own. (B)
Day 08: Cuenca/Guayaquil (Drive)
Travel on to Ecuador’s largest city Guayaquil, which is the industrial and commercial centre of the country. It lies on the western banks of the Río Guayas, about 56 kilometers from its outflow into the Gulf of Guayaquil. Towards the coastal area, the road loses height and the land is more intensively farmed. The Guayas lowlands are characterized by mangroves and ever increasing banana plantations. En route, visit a cacao project. During a guided tour through the cacao plantations, visitors can learn everything about the cultivation of the cacao fruit, the process of harvesting and the cacao bean treatment. The Ecuadorian cacao is famous and popular for its very high quality. Upon arrival in Guayaquil, we enjoy a short sightseeing tour of the city.
Day 09: Depart Guayaquil
Today, our exciting adventure through Ecuador comes to the end as we are transferred to the airport in time for our departure flight. Check out time from our hotel is 1100 hrs. (B)
* Please contact us for other programs of Ecuador or extension to the Galapagos Islands.
B=Breakfast, BL=Box Lunch, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).
Jan 27; Feb 10; Mar 10 & 31; May 05; Jun 02 & 16; Jul 07; Oct 20; Nov 17; Dec 01
|Departure(s)||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|Option 1||US$ 1850 CA$ 2498||US$ 385 CA$ 520|
|Option 2||US$ 2350 CA$ 3173||US$ 585 CA$ 790|
Hotels below or similar for Option 1 (3-Star) & Option 2 (4-Star)
|City||Option 1||Option 2|
|Hotel Alameda Mercure||Hotel Hilton Colon|
|Hotel Hacienda La Cienega (2*)||Hotel Hacienda Hato Verde (2*)|
|Hotel Hosteria Abraspungo||Hotel Hosteria Abraspungo (3*)|
|Hotel San Juan||Hotel Mansion Alcazar|
|Hotel Unipark (4*)||Hotel Oro Verde (5*)|
Please contact us for other programs of Ecuador or extension to the Galapagos Islands.
Estimated International Airfare
(International airfare is NOT included in this tour)
This tour operates on a minimum of 04 and a maximum of 16 participants
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
You may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.